chapter  9
Intellectual Property Rights, Trading Patterns and Practices, Wealth Distribution, Development and Standards of Living: A North-South Perspective on Patent Law Harmonization
WithDavid Silverstein
Pages 25

This chapter argues that efforts by Western, developed countries, particularly the United States, to achieve "harmonization" of global intellectual property (IP) laws predominantly along Western lines may fail to serve the best interests of the less-developed countries, the newly-industrializing countries, and perhaps the international community generally. It shows that a truly successful IP system must be culturally-specific and responsive to the different economic and social realities of each country. Conventional neo-classical economic theory using the concept of the production possibility frontier suggests some of the ways in which technological innovation can enhance a society's level of satisfaction. Much more difficult to predict and analyze than the immediate economic effects of new technologies are the dynamic, long-term effects. The need for some level of harmonization in global IP systems, including at a minimum the mutual recognition of and respect for the economic value of a foreign national's intellectual work product, is undeniable.